By Ralphine Major

The day is celebrated with parades and fireworks, picnics and cookouts, barbeque and watermelon!It is America’s birthday and one of the most important days in our nation’s history.  The patriotic holiday is known as Independence Day or the Fourth of July.  The year was 1776 when America gained her independence—241 years ago!

The United States of America has come a long way during those years and accomplished much, making her the greatest nation on earth.  Electricity, telephones, cars, computers and so many other inventions have improved our quality of life.  I often wonder what our forefathers would think of America today.  They worked tirelessly to lay the foundation for future generations.  What foresight they showed when creating the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and other important documents.  Two hundred, forty-one years later, our country is strong and successful; yet, it is often battered with violence and hostility.

On July 4, 2017, enjoy the festivities with red, white and blue flags flying high.  Take a moment to reflect on the many in service who have protected our freedom, serving this great country on the mainland and around the world to keep her free.  I am reminded of the seven brave United States Navy sailors in recent news who gave their life serving America.  Pray for peace throughout our nation and other countries.  America is great, but she will only remain great if her people keep their focus on a higher power.  The magnitude of the message in a scripture I often reference seems more important these days than ever before.  In these turbulent and dangerous times, it bears repeating:  “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV).  Happy Birthday, America!!  God bless!